Topics: Christian apologetics, Jesus, God Pages: 7 (1645 words) Published: April 21, 2015
by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

BIB 215

More Than A Carpenter

Mr. Phillip Soen
March 9, 2015

by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

Jesus claimed to be God, and to him it was of fundamental importance that men and women believed him to be who he was. Either we believe him or we don’t. Chapter 3, page 27

Jesus was God and the basis of his life, his work and his passion was to lead people to the inevitable conclusion that He was Lord of their life and they needed to follow Him to the Father. _________________________________

The whole question of whether Jesus was who he said he was or not in the minds of the people rests on one of the three conclusions thinking people could come to: Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Is there any other choice? Could Jesus be legend? Like a character out of science fiction or literature, Jesus could be a figment of someone’s imagination; rather than real life flesh and blood person. People in Jesus’ time most certainly had different understandings of who Jesus was, for example that He became the Son of God when God adopted Him at His baptism (Mark’s view perhaps?) or that He became the Son of God when He was born of a virgin (which is when He came into existence, according to Luke). Jesus as liar is harder to establish because if when Jesus made his claims he knew that he was not God, then he was lying and deliberately deceiving his followers. But, if he was a liar, then he was also a hypocrite because he taught others to be honest at whatever cost. 1

Reading the book has given me a new insight into his life and the way that he has affected the lives of the author, his son and the people who were utilized in the writing of this book. It is particularly interesting to me to consider this question of whether Jesus was lord, liar or lunatic, because I had really never considered this question. I believe it is a suitable academic exercise that led me deeper into the Gospels than I had really ever ventured before and for that, this question is valuable to research.

1 Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell, More Than a Carpenter (Carol Stream, IL: Living Books,

2009) 3:30


Is it possible Jesus was deranged?
Chapter 3, page 33

Can anyone come to the conclusion that Jesus was out of his mind? _________________________________
Deranged: insane, mad, disturbed, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, irrational…certifiable. One thing is certain – at some point the lunacy comes to the surface. The façade is cracked and the illness is clear.

Had Jesus been insane, could he have endured the truly horrendous circumstances that took place in his life? If he was just a man, he certainly could have been afflicted with or susceptible to these human flaws and surely the “insanity” would have appeared at certain points in his life to throw his whole mission into question. However, the people in Jesus’ time, according to the Gospels, seemed to accept his miracles and teachings as true – at least the people who believed or wanted to believe. Had Jesus been merely a human without divine characteristics, his miracles over nature also can’t be explained psychologically, and raising Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb for a few days is not the stuff of trickery. Jesus wasn’t crazy.

According to Gary Collins, a psychologist with a doctorate in clinical psychology from Purdue and the author of numerous books and articles, “Disturbed individuals often show signs of depression or anxiety and explosive anger. But Jesus never displays inappropriate emotions.” Jesus does get angry – in the temple – when he saw the misuse of the temple courtyard and the moneychangers taking advantage of the poor. In fact, Jesus seems at his most composed when being challenged. All and all, I just don’t see signs that Jesus was suffering from any known mental illness. 2 From a logical standpoint, it is my...
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